Maraschino -

A famous liqueur which takes its name from the small wild black Marasca cherry, native to the Dalmatian Mountains, Austria, but found also in Italy, Greece and parts of Provence. The fruit is very sweet and aromatic and the kernel resembles the filbert in flavor. There are numerous commercial types of Maraschino which have departed from the original formula, but the true liqueur, the kind that made the name famous, knows no constituents except the Marasca cherry, white honey and clear syrup. The pulp and kernels of the thoroughly ripe fruit are crushed together and the mixture is emptied into vats, where it is diluted with a certain quantity of white honey. Fermentation quickly sets in and is followed by distillation - which produces the crude Maraschino. This is allowed to rest for about a year and is then rectified several times until absolutely clear, mixed with clear white-sugar syrup and again sent to the cellars to mature, a full three years being required to produce the natural mellow strength so highly prized. The liqueur thus matured is the best quality ordinarily retailed. It continues, however, to improve in quality, and ascend in price, with still greater age, genuine old Maraschino being worth, even at the distillery, from two to three dollars a bottle - and at retail is of course very much more expensive.

The bulk of the output of the best grades is produced in the city of Zara, the capital of the province of Dalmatia, by distillers who receive the fermented mixture from various points in the cherry growing districts. It is generally marketed in wicker-covered bottles.

A great quantity of imitation Maraschino is made from other varieties of cherries, miscellaneous fruits, peach leaves, etc., but it does not possess the delicate flavor, or aroma, of the true product.

In this country, Maraschino is a popular liqueur for the preserving of whole fruits, as cherries, figs, etc.

See also general article on, and LIQUEURS.

Arround Maraschino in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

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